Thousands Protest Against the Government in Cuba
On Sunday, thousands of people protested against Cuba’s government in the capital, Havana and other cities. The protesters complained about living conditions, especially shortages of food and electricity in the island nation. Many of those protesting were young people. Some criticized the government, demanding greater freedom.
The coronavirus has made life in Cuba difficult. It has kept tourists from visiting, leaving many people without work. Many people have to wait in line for hours to get food. Cuba is now facing its highest numbers ever of Covid-19 cases and deaths. The country is also facing a shortage of medicines.
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The protests surprised many people. Protests in Cuba are very rare. Usually, large gatherings are only permitted if the government supports them. The government allowed the protests at first, but reacted quickly when some protesters became violent. The internet, which is still fairly new in Cuba, was shut off during the afternoon.
Cuba’s president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, says Cuba’s people are suffering because of sanctions put on Cuba by the United States. He encouraged people who support the government to “defend” against the protesters.
Italy Beats England to Become European Champions
Italy defeated England on Sunday to win the 2020 European soccer championships. England led for the first half, after Luke Shaw scored a goal in under two minutes. But 67 minutes into the match, Italy’s Leonardo Bonucci made a goal, evening things up.
The score was still tied 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes, and it stayed the same through 30 minutes of extra time. That meant the game had to be decided by a penalty shootout. Though England pulled ahead, leading Italy 2-1 on penalties for a short time, Italy wound up winning 3-2.
It was a huge win for Italy, which has improved greatly in recent years. For England, it was a sad loss. The last time England won the European championship was in 1956. For players and fans, it was hard to come so close and then lose.
Argentina Beats Brazil to Win the Copa America
On Saturday, Argentina defeated Brazil 1-0 to win the Copa America. The Copa America is a soccer (football) tournament for the countries of South America. Argentina’s Angel Di Maria scored after 22 minutes. Brazil fought hard, especially in the second half, but it was never able to come back.
Though Di Maria scored the winning goal, the victory was a huge one for Lionel Messi. Messi has won almost every possible soccer award, but Saturday’s victory was the first time he led Argentina’s national team to win a major tournament.
Zaila Avant-garde Wins the Scripps National Spelling Bee
Last Thursday night, 14-year-old Zaila Avant-garde won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Her winning word – only one of the many difficult words she had to spell – was “murraya”, a kind of tree. Amazingly, Zaila only started taking part in spelling bees two years ago.
Zaila’s win makes her the first Black American to win the bee. She says, “I’m hoping that in a few years, I’ll see a whole lot more African American females, and males too, doing well in the Scripps Spelling Bee.” In 1998, Jody-Anne Maxwell from Jamaica became the first Black person to win the bee.
Did You Know…?
Zaila’s main interest is basketball, and she hopes to play in the WNBA. She already has three Guinness world records: 1. Dribbling six basketballs at the same time for 30 seconds, 2. Bouncing four basketballs 307 times in 30 seconds, and 3. Juggling four basketballs 255 times in just one minute.